an orange life preserver ring hanging on a white wall

Psalm 51:1-12; Exodus 30:1-10; Hebrews 4:14-5:4

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. (Hebrews 4:14-16, The Message )

I have mentioned it before, but I will mention it again, reading the Scriptures in The Message is so refreshing. It takes familiar passages and brings them to life.

Today, I am struck by the very last phrase in the passage. In the NIV that last verse is translated this way, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” This is beautiful too and one of my favorite passages in the whole of the Bible.

But, when I read, “Take the mercy, accept the help,” it just hits me differently.

In my arrogance I don’t think I need mercy or help. I certainly don’t want mercy or help. By defintion those things mean that I am in need.

Being in need is not something that I would ever admit to. Why? Because I’m filled with pride and arrogance. I am someone who values being able to stand on my own two feet without anyone’s help.

Yet, the reality is that I do need mercy and help. I can not live this life on my own.

I am in need.

So, I’m challenged again to come to the presence of the Divine and find that mercy and help.